Sunday, July 22, 2012

SERIES - Your First 50 Pages

Parts 7 & 8

Establish Your Main Character's Desires and Begin Your Main Character's Journey

Before you can begin your main character's (MC) journey, you first must develop a normal for him. Let the reader get to know who he is, where he works, how he dresses, how he sees himself, life, and his environment. Does he have a sick mother he's caring for? Are there any children? Where does he live, and how is his dwelling laid out? Is he a collector of things? You get the picture. By the time the main story crashes his world, we (the reader) feel firmly planted in his life. We should have a strong feel for his expectations, relationships, and goals.

Chances are your MC will start out as one thing and then become something else - a hero, a villain, or maybe a stronger person emotionally. He will have wants, needs, and desires. Does he desire health, wealth, or a relationship? Or something simpler, or more complex? But is the desire of the MC really and truly what he desires? Or is it merely a desire for the moment? Is the MC simply trying to get to the ultimate end result at whatever cost, or has he truly given his desire conscious thought to reach his goal?

Whatever it is the MC learns from her journey throughout the story, it must resonate with the reader on some level. People are always trying to become something new, to better themselves, to become enlightened in some manner - to be able to read a story that lets us 'watch' other people navigate through their change is very rewarding.

Once your MC's desires are developed, you can begin with the inner journey. Remember that a character who is ready for an inner journey is someone who has something inside that needs change. There's an imbalance to his life, though he may not even realize it. There is a recipe here.  Cook it slowly, with care and precision, and you will have a great transformation story. Ready?

* Develop the MC's normal
* Show the character being out of balance (which usually means miserable in some way) - initial condition
* Create the inciting event (the detour that will ultimately bring the MC to her moment of truth)
* Create the internal struggle - he doesn't want to change and resists, sometimes violently, but change is a must in order to correct the imbalance in his life
* Now for the moment of truth - this is what your MC has become based on the path that she has chosen

Now, put it all together and you've got yourself one hell of a story (hopefully).

So, this is the end of my series on your first 50 pages. To recap:

1. Engage the reader
2. Introduce your main character
3. Establish the context of the story
4. Reveal the genre
5. Set up the tone
6. Introduce the antagonist
7. Establish the MC's desires
8. Begin the MC's inner journey

Give it some thought. How can we, as the writer, hold the MC back from achieving the desire of the moment? We must tell them no, but how? How do we bring them closer to the light, so to speak, to get them see the bigger picture of their desires? We're the writer. We need to show the MC a way to their true desire that is far more significant than what they'd ever imagined.

In your current WIP, what is your character's true desire? How have you met the desire of your character? Leave a comment and let us know. I hope you've found this information helpful. If so, feel free to link this post to your blog or website.

All my best to you and your success,

Dee Ann